Despite digital technologies in African, agriculture is worth $2.6bn and reaching over 33 million registered users, its benefits can only be realized if policymakers and developers put farmers first, a report says.
Africa’s agriculture could be transformed through the strategic use of digital technologies and innovations such as mobile phones in farming but challenges are slowing the progress that could be made.
With the interest in digitalization for smallholder agriculture growing, we wanted to establish a baseline of existing digital solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. The hope is for our findings to be built into global policies and investment practices to support strategies across the entire digital ecosystem.
These solutions contribute to as much as 73% increase in farm productivity and up to 37% increase in income. Solutions that packaged more than one service, called super platforms, contribute to improved yields of up to 168%, the report adds.
Since September 2018 such as interviews with about 120 agribusiness leaders and technology experts; a survey of 175 active agricultural digital enterprises; field visits and case studies in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Rwanda; and reviews that focused on Kenya and other countries.
While there are digital agricultural solutions present in at least 43 out of 49 sub-Saharan African countries, over half of the solutions are headquartered in East Africa and nearly two-thirds of registered farmers across all solutions are based in East Africa, with Kenya leading the way,” says the report. “Our estimates suggest that 42% of registered farmers and pastoralists actually used the solutions they registered for with any frequency.